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IEEE Trans Inf Technol Biomed. 2012 Nov;16(6):1024-31. doi: 10.1109/TITB.2012.2203313. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Virtual caregiver: an ambient-aware elderly monitoring system.


The growing number of elderly population at home and abroad necessitates improved approaches to elderly care provision. Elders, often with cognitive and physical impairment, need assistance in their activities of daily living (ADLs), which is usually provided by human caregivers. As the demand for caregivers assistance increases, the shortage of traditional care resources becomes obvious. In this paper, we present the Virtual Caregiver (ViCare) framework that supports a human caregiver to monitor continuously the elderly by being aware of their surroundings. The ViCare system attempts to understand the elderly persons activities and contexts based on the data captured by the sensors placed in their environment and dynamically decides what services to provide them or whether there is a need to interrupt human caregiver depending on the type of activities. It not only minimizes the cognitive load of the human caregiver but also provides a seamless assistance to the elderly toward their improved health and well-being in their living environment. We conducted the experiments in an instrumented home environment and obtained positive results in terms of the satisfaction of the elderly, interaction event handling, caregivers acceptance and their engagement.

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